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I Have Ammonia In My Tap Water!


Guest kevharris

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Guest kevharris

Okay, so I did a 75% water change today because the ammonia levels went up to 2.0. Just out of curiosity, I decided to test my tap water for the presence of ammonia. The test of the tap water returned a 1.0. I HAVE AMMONIA IN MY TAP WATER!!!!?!?!?!? No wonder I am having a heck of a time with ammonia levels in my tank!!!

Even after doing a 75% water change, the ammonia level is at 1.0...which amazingly enough is the SAME EXACT LEVEL of my tap water!

So, now what do I do? Should I start using bottled water?

HELP!

Kevin

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Hmm...I would hold off on bottled water. I used it for a couple years and it's really just not good for the fish...so much of the good stuff is filtered out. Plus, I found most bottled water to have low PH. Also, it's a gigantic hassle. If it was good for the fish + hassle, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But not good for fish + hassle = I just wouldn't recommend.

Have you thought about using zeolite or ammonia chips? I wouldn't recommend these for normal situations either, but tap of 1.0 ammonia is a bit much.

Btw, you may want to test over a couple of days and see if tap ammonia is really at 1.0.

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Guest kevharris
Hmm...I would hold off on bottled water. I used it for a couple years and it's really just not good for the fish...so much of the good stuff is filtered out. Plus, I found most bottled water to have low PH. Also, it's a gigantic hassle. If it was good for the fish + hassle, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But not good for fish + hassle = I just wouldn't recommend.

Have you thought about using zeolite or ammonia chips? I wouldn't recommend these for normal situations either, but tap of 1.0 ammonia is a bit much.

Btw, you may want to test over a couple of days and see if tap ammonia is really at 1.0.

From what I am hearing from other web sites, a majority of water treatment facilities are switching from chlorine to chloramine. Chloramine is essentially ammonia molecules with chlorine bound to them. As the chlorine dissipates, what's left is ammonia. They are stopping the use of chlorine because it simply doesn't last long enough and by the time it reaches your faucet the chlorine levels are very low. So they decided to go with this bright idea...yeah...really bright for those of us with aquariums. THANKS!

At this point I don't know what to do. I'll keep testing the tap water for ammonia...but as it stands right now I have a serious situation that needs a resolution. As of now my tap water is deadly to my fish...so...I need an alternative that is not a hassle and will do the job. Here's the big question...what if I took bottled water and added something to improve the pH? What is in the water that the fish needs that gets filtered out?

What exactly are Zeolite or Ammonia chips? How do they work? Where do you put them, in the tank? in the filter?

Here's another problem...on November 24th I am leaving for 5 days for New York. During those 5 days my tank's ammonia levels are bound to rise to dangerous levels. I don't want to come back to a dead fish, how can I take care of that problem?

It seems all I have right now are problems and questions. I appreciate your help! Believe me I have learned so much about goldfish keeping in the past week thanks to you guys!

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Hi. i just finished cycle my first tank. In early stages i had high ammonia readings. I had it 2.0 and over. i new to all this staff because my 1st tank just over 2 month old. I could not control my ammonia with water changes so i used AMMO LOCK from API. On the bottle: Each dose of AMMO LOCK will detoxify 3.0 ppm of ammonia, 7.0 ppm of chlorine and 5.0 ppm of chloramines. BUT major drawback is once You add AMMO LOCK in your tank You cannot get true ammonia reading using API drops test. My was 8.0 right after i use it. I used it 3 times. Last time i was going to vacation (my tank was cycling and i did not know what my ammonia reading was) so i add a dose of it. Just to feel safe.

I am not advising You to use AMMO LOCK in YOUR situation. Use it ONLY in emergency !!!

Get more information from experienced people.

I never use Ammo chips so i cant tell you anything.

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I've got chloramines in my tap water too, although usually not quite that high. You can use a water conditioner like Prime to detoxify the chloramines, then in a tank with an established cycle, that ammonia will be processed by your beneficial bacteria, just like the waste from your fish. Prime gets rid of the chlorine and makes the ammonia safe for fish, but availible to the cycle. There are other water conditioners that do similar things. Look for one that says it takes care of chloramines.

If you don't have an established cycle, you can use ammonia chips, but they take time to work. I've put them in my filter before (they need moving water to be effective), but it can be several days before they remove the ammonia. And you don't want to leave them in too long. If you have a good cycle, the ammonia chips will starve it of ammonia. Also, zeolite/ammonia chips are recharged with salt, so if there is any salt in your tank, the chips won't work, and will release any stored ammonia back into the tank.

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zeolite/ammonia chips, as cometgirl said, take time to soak up the ammonia, and release it in the presence of salt. The Ammonia Detox will prevent any immediate harm while the ammonia is slowly absorbed. However, as was said, you must be careful not to starve the cycle:

One solution is to prepare your water ahead in an other container with zeolite and a pump/powerhead/filter (for circulation), and transfer the water from there after a time (however long it takes to get the ammonia down to zero). When the zeolite stops working, you can recharge it in a salt bath and use it again.

As for the bottled water: there is some recent debate about its level of purity and the lack of oversight/disclosure... but besides that, depending on the manufacturer and source, they may remove many of the minerals, including carbonates (KH!), and add other minerals (the bottles read something like "enhanced with minerals for pure mountain taste"). Distilled/RO water is probably better, because you KNOW there's nothing in it and can get a bottle of 'RO Right' (or similar product) to replace the necessary minerals/nutrients. You can even get a home Reverse Osmosis (RO) system, but your water problem doesn't seem to be quite THAT bad.

Edited by A Penguin
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Guest kevharris

Wouldn't RO Right make the water more like dilute sea water? I went and looked it up and found it contains sodium salts...that kinda makes me nervous. But it is a good idea...as long as those salts don't cause a new problem. You tell me, I don't know anything about this stuff.

zeolite/ammonia chips, as cometgirl said, take time to soak up the ammonia, and release it in the presence of salt. The Ammonia Detox will prevent any immediate harm while the ammonia is slowly absorbed. However, as was said, you must be careful not to starve the cycle:

One solution is to prepare your water ahead in an other container with zeolite and a pump/powerhead/filter (for circulation), and transfer the water from there after a time (however long it takes to get the ammonia down to zero). When the zeolite stops working, you can recharge it in a salt bath and use it again.

As for the bottled water: there is some recent debate about its level of purity and the lack of oversight/disclosure... but besides that, depending on the manufacturer and source, they may remove many of the minerals, including carbonates (KH!), and add other minerals (the bottles read something like "enhanced with minerals for pure mountain taste"). Distilled/RO water is probably better, because you KNOW there's nothing in it and can get a bottle of 'RO Right' (or similar product) to replace the necessary minerals/nutrients. You can even get a home Reverse Osmosis (RO) system, but your water problem doesn't seem to be quite THAT bad.

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Perhaps I need to learn more about those products... but I'm just trying to explain all the options for dealing with water problems. The most simple and inexpensive method is probably the ammonia chips.

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